Anyone who has spent much time at all on this site has probably seen me mention the phrase “the great outdoors” about a million times. While it might be a bit of a cliche, I say it all the time because it’s just simply true: the outdoors really is great.
And I want to get as many people as I can to understand that. So what’s up with everyone wanting to spend more time outside in June?
Great Outdoors Month happens annually in June when the entire month is dedicated to the outdoors and what the world has to offer. Whether you go camping, hiking, or just spend time outside by yourself, with friends, or with loved ones, the key is just being outdoors and appreciating the world.
As someone who absolutely loves the outdoors — I wouldn’t have started this site if that wasn’t the case — I look forward to this month every year. Even though I take advantage annually, it’s one of the best months for outdoor enthusiasts to meet new people, socialize with like-minded individuals, and share our love of the outdoors.
What is National Great Outdoors Month?
Every June, outdoor enthusiasts like myself spend as much time outside as possible, reveling in celebrating Great Outdoors Month. Starting as Great Outdoors Week back in 1998 under President Bill Clinton, the celebration grew into a month-long event in the early 2000s, with states across the country designating the month of June with the moniker.
In June 2019, however, June officially became Great Outdoors Month when it was designated as such by the United States Senate. It was started as a way to raise awareness about how much being outdoors can positively affect people, with the National Park Service stating how it brings on health, social, and economic benefits.
That might sound hyperbolic, but it’s true. Spending outside has been proven to provide physical, mental, and relational benefits in your life, and Great Outdoors Month is the perfect excuse to spend more time outside.
Important Days of Great Outdoors Month
Don’t get me wrong, every day in June is important when it comes to Great Outdoors Month. Heck, I’d personally say that every day of the year is important when it comes to the outdoors, but I digress.
All this said, there are two important days to keep in mind that occur every year during Great Outdoors Month.
National Trails Day — 1st Saturday of June
The first Saturday in June is designated as National Trails Day. As the name suggests, this day is meant to get you to head out to your local trails to recognize all the benefits that they offer the public.
Whether you’re located near a slew of hiking trails or you have to head to the nearest state park to go hiking, there’s no better time to go hiking than National Trails Day. You can even probably find a hiking event near you on this day, and make some new friends and enjoy the trails together with a group of enthusiasts like you.
Through donations and sponsorships every year, National Trails Day has managed to raise money to improve trails, host events, and bring people together from all over the country to share in their love of hiking.
National Get Outdoors Day — 2nd Saturday of June
A week after National Trails Day, the second Saturday of June is recognized as National Get Outdoors Day. As you can probably guess, the intent of this day is to get people to go outside and spend time in nature.
Created and set up by the US Forest Service (USFS) and Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, National Get Outdoors Day is a nationwide event is designed for people across the country to come together outside to have fun, volunteer on various projects, and more.
With the USFS involved, many national forests around the country participate by offering fee-free days. What better way to take advantage of all the amazing national parks and forests around the country than when it won’t cost you a dime?
Best Ways to Celebrate Great Outdoors Month
If you’re an avid reader of Outdoor Andrew, or even if this is your first time here, take a few seconds to look around the site and you’ll see that I love two things the most: camping and hiking.
So when it’s June and you’re trying to decide how to best celebrate the month, those are going to be the first couple of things you should consider!
Camping is my go-to activity for Great Outdoors Month. June provides some of the best camping weather of the year in many places across the country. It’s at the tail-end of spring and the start of summer, so you’ll have warm days with nights that aren’t too cold.
June is also a relatively dry month compared to April and May, giving you more opportunities to get out there and spend the weekend heading to a campground or going on a primitive camping trip. I make it a point to go camping at least one weekend every June, but I try to get out there as much as possible in order to do my part during this special month.
Before you head out for your next camping trip, make sure you check out my complete list of camping hacks and tips that will make it go as smoothly as possible!
You guessed it, the next best way to observe Great Outdoors Month is to go hiking. Whether you’re supplementing your camping trip by hiking some nearby trails or you’re headed on the backpacking trip of a lifetime, it’s by far one of the best (and most fun) things you can do outside.
Not only is hiking great exercise, but it’s also an unbeatable way to truly immerse yourself in nature and just take in all the natural beauty of the world around us. Two of the biggest keys to a successful hiking trip are having all the right hiking gear and making sure you’re stocked up on hiking snacks, drinks, and nutrition to give you energy.
After that, have at it! Be sure you check out my complete hiking guide for beginners if you’re brand new to hiking to give you a quick overview of everything you need to know.
Make the Most of Great Outdoors Month
Even though I might harp on camping and hiking a lot, those are not the only ways to celebrate Great Outdoors Month. As long as you’re getting out of the house here and there and spending time in nature, that’s really all you have to do. Some other easy ways to take advantage of this month include:
- Going to the beach
- Laying out by the pool
- Strolling through the park
- Playing basketball with friends
- Walking your dog
- Laying in a hammock
- Riding bikes or scooters around town
- Drinking your morning coffee on your patio
- Hosting a block party and grilling out
Seriously, the possibilities are endless when it comes to finding ways to be outside. Just be sure you make the most of it and spend some time outdoors this June!
- Great Outdoors Month happens every June since the US Senate’s official designation back in June 2019.
- National Trails Day is on the first Saturday in June and encourages people to head out to their local, state, and nearby national trails for a hike, bike ride, or social event.
- National Get Outdoors Day is on the second Saturday in June and is an event that encourages people to spend time outside.
- Take some time this June to head outdoors, relax, and appreciate the natural beauty of the world!